Thursday, May 14, 2009

Blog Readers Say Frank Field for Speaker

A massive 2,100 of you voted in the Speaker poll. Here are the results, and they are extremely interesting...

How do you rate the performance of Mr Speaker Michael Martin?

Excellent 1%
Good 1%
Adequate 3%
Poor 22%
Dreadful 73%


95% say Michael Martin should step down now. 86% of you think he should go immediately, while 8% think he should go at the next election. 49% of you expect him soon to announce he will go at the next election. 75% of you think Labour MPs will vote tribally for a Labour speaker.

66% of the people who took part in this poll say they will vote Tory at the next election. That's not surprising. This is, after all, a Conservative supporting blog. However, look at who the top two MPs are who you would like to succeed Michael Martin. Not a Tory among them...

Frank Field 19%
Sir Ming Campbell 18%
Sir George Young 15%
Kate Hoey 13%
David Davis 6%
Sir Alan Haselhurst 6%
Ken Clarke 5%
Alan Beith 4%
John Bercow 3%
Keith Simpson 3%
Sir Patrick Cormack 3%
Richard Shepherd 2%


All others were under 2%. This result is particularly interesting when you take into account the same poll from six months ago. Sir Ming Campbell came top with 25%, Sir Alan Haselhurst was second with 19%. Frank Field only scored 10%

When the question changes to "who do you expect MPs to elect" Sir Ming rises to the top again with 28% and Frank Field declines to 12%. Sir George Young is on 10% and Sir Alan Haselhurst 8%.

As I say, I don't pretend this poll is representative of anyone apart from readers of my blog. The only meaningful thing one can draw from this poll is that Conservative supporters would be happy to see Sir Ming Campbell or Frank Field as Speaker, and that Sir Alan Haselhurst's position has worsened because of the events of this week.

For what it's worth, I would still support Sir Alan Haselhurst. I think he has proved he can do the job and would be a steadying influence.

53 comments:

Matthew Dear said...

Sir George Young not a Tory? Have I missed something? Or are you being catty?

James Burdett said...

Sir George Young is a Conservative, or was the last I looked.

Half The Story said...

Has George Young switched parties?

BJ said...

Not one Tory in the top three apart from, er, Sir George Young!

For any MPs reading this: particularly those who were members of the government in the last Parliament: how you feel about your job now is exactly how many BBC staff felt just after the Hutton report.

I hope it hurts just as much.

Ann Widdecombes Chest Hair said...

Sir George Young is Spartacus.

Vishal said...

Speaking for myself - it only means those names (Fields/Campbell) were more familiar than the others!

Dr Michaels said...

Eton, Christ Church Oxford, nice Hampshire constituency...he can't be too Tory...

DespairingLiberal said...

Frank Field would never do it, so that rules him out. Labour won't back your man Iain. So that leaves "Ming".

Which is precisely why it ain't gonna happen until after the election.

Annabel Herriott said...

Sadly, Iain, your readers tend to skip. You DID say the TOP TWO were not tories, which is accurate!

Anonymous said...

Whoever is the next Speaker they must be above reproach as far as expenses go. Surely that rules out Ming.

dave said...

Umm it says "Top two"

Jonathan Cook said...

Of course this could not ever claim to be a scientific poll, but those results are really interesting.....

Go for it Frank Field!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Haselhurst has really blotted his copy book

Liz said...

1% of people thought Gorbals' performance is excellent? Do they also believe in elves?

lloyd said...

Iain, I hoped Alan Hazerlhurst would succed Martin, he is the epitome of a perfect Speaker.

He is now blackballed for eternity for his exes claims and support for the decaying regime.

We have to have fresh blood.

Stepney said...

A steadying influence won't do.

The post of speaker has been dragged into the gutter with the rest of Parliament. It needs someone strong to take charge and kick some arse. It's not just acting as the referee, the post represents the people's enfranchisement and the entire office needs a complete overhaul.

Given the current incumbent's place right at the centre of the pig trough it also needs someone completely untouchable.

Westminster watch said...

Much more worryingly, who are the 21 people who think MM is doing an excellent job? Iain have you checked their IP addresses??!!

Anonymous said...

Err, who vote that Speaker Martin's performance is excellent? 1% of 2100 is 21 people? Are they labour MPs by any chance?

Head and examined come to mind.

KP said...

I'd of thought you'd of wanted Sir Alan Hazelhurst to retire from parliament at the last minute Iain

whats his seat again? ;-)

Half The Story said...

@ annabel & @ dave

It said three originally......

Tom said...

As I said in response to your poll, my inclination has gone away from Sir Menzies Campbell after his shoddy judgement was exposed this week. We need an uncompromised candidate with a mandate to seriously clean up the House. Sir Alan Haslehurst isn't that either. Perhaps Frank Field will fit the bill, we shall see, but I don't think his Labour compatriots like him very much.

Swiss Bob said...

No, it can't be Labour and that's Labour's fault, that's it.

Did you see Brown on his party political campaign at a school today? See what one of our correspondents has to say. He makes an interesting point, would you accpet the BNP campaigning in your local school? Brown gives speech, in a school, again.

Andrew Allison said...

I voted for Frank Field for the following reasons:

1. He is highly respected by all MPs.

2. He has not been tainted by an expenses scandal - or any other scandal for that matter.

3. His reforming talents are never going to be used by Brown in the government. I don't think anyone doubts he would become a reforming Speaker.

4. Although the Speaker should really not be a Labour MP, in the current situation, it is important to get the right person to do the job, irrespective of which party they currently represent. Frank Field should not be ruled out for that reason.

5. Iain still supports Sir Alan Haslehurst. Can anyone imagine him being a reforming Speaker? I just can't see it. He is too much part of the establishment, as is George Young. Ming Campbell has been implicated in the expenses scandal. Frank Field is the only name left.

Raedwald said...

We need someone completely untainted by peculation; Hazelhurst isn't.

Our next Speaker must be a man or woman we will rise in the streets to defend, a person of unimpeachable integrity who will be both a loyal citizen and the champion of our House in holding the government to account. They will need the wisdom of Solomon and the self-deprecation of a Saint. They must be held in such regard that MPs would rather bury themselves in the earth than cause them offence. They must have no ambition other than for this people and this nation, no vice other than industry and no hunger other than for justice and equity.

For some Speakers, the office creates them anew in this mould, even if they show few signs of these qualities before taking the chair. The problem that the Commons has is getting it right.

FjmS said...

Iain, have you turned into the BBC? BIt of stealth editing. Definitely said top 3 when I read earlier.

Chap said...

As Speaker, Kenneth Clarke would have to:

(1) give up his business activities: and
(2) keep his opinions about Europe, inheritance tax, etc., to himself.

Good reasons for dragging him to the Speaker's Chair!

Scan said...

Re: Sir Alan Haselhurst. What has this fine country to come to when a man can't mow his lawn anymore?! ;)

Gordon said...

I'm sorry, missed the original poll but why Frank Field? I'm assuming he was voted for by those who like his (deserved) good reputation. However, as one of the very few bank bench MPs to attempt to hold this Government to account over the last few years, the last thing we should want is to have Field muzzled and no longer able to discuss policy issues - the loss there would not be made up for by his elevation to speaker.

Gareth said...

Was I the only one to suggest Brian Blessed?

Appointed by MPs but not an MP. Swear an oath to defend the honour of Parliament and to insist MPs execute their duties. Plus of course a hearty 'Gordon's Alive' at every PMQs for as long as Brown remains PM.

Feckless, shifty, grubby MPs voting in one of their own into the position of Squeaker was a terrible, terrible mistake. It went too tribal. They don't have us, Parliament or the nation at heart, only themselves.

Elliot Kane said...

I think it should be Douglas Carswell. We KNOW he has the good of Parliament at heart. He proved it by organising the motion of no confidence in Martin.

Tom said...

I second the nomination of Brian Blessed.

The Grim Reaper said...

I voted to have Iain Dale as the next Speaker myself...

Anonymous said...

Chizelhurst or Kerching Cambell ?

Won't do.

Anonymous said...

Frank Field is much too good to be wasted in the job of speaker.

David Bartlett said...

Frank is the first MP on Merseyside to voluntarily start putting his expenses on his website. I've had a cursory glance through and even he has made claims for things like a trouser press, kettle, coffer maker, and a saucepan: http://bit.ly/EvTpr

Anonymous said...

Is there dirt on FF? If there is, for the love of God, let's please air it so that it won't hold up his ability to reform the Commons and (by extension) Society...

Doug said...

Hazelhurst hasn't done himself any favours with his expenses but I still think he is the best qualified to be Speaker.

Most of the rest have obvious agendas which is not desirable for a Speaker.

Call me Infidel said...

Kate Hoey?

Anonymous said...

NO Way should ming the meaningless be ANYWHERE NEAR the speakers chair!!

He will be more articulate than martin (most of us would be though!)

but-he is very pally with Mr Bean!

He and bean conspired together to stop Salmond becoming leader at Holyrood-it failed (I have yet to bottom out exactly why)

HAVE HIM AT YOUR PERIL, MY MORRIS DANCING FRIENDS!

James said...

We need someone like Bernard Weatherill again, or Betty Boothroyd. Independent and challenging, and could tell MPs when to be quiet and sit in their seats at PMQs, but also stand up for backbenchers!

I think it will have to be Sir Alan Haselhurst, he is the only one to have the experience, and as a deputy usually outshines his superior!

Anonymous said...

Dennis Skinner, a man of honour and uncompromised principles and integrity. A rough stone with a cutting sense of humour. Just the man for this job though I suspect he wouldn't want it. Too establishment.

palimpsest said...

Dennis Skinner would be a fabulous choice. Like him or not, he's a funny guy, true to his principles and a dedicated and knowledgeable Parliamentarian.

Victor, NW Kent said...

I am prepared to settle for Attila the Hun or even for the Hanging Judge Jeffries.

Anonymous said...

"95% say Michael Martin should step down now. 86% of you think he should go immediately,"

Are you a member of the Derek Draper school of media, or is my maths really that bad?

David Hughes said...

The trouble with Frank Field becoming Mr. Speaker would be the House of Commons losing a very able back bencher and it would appear that they are sorely needed right now !

Gaw said...

I think it's going to be Chris Huhne. He fits the bill in every way. His ambition and marginal majority will also help propel him.

Pugwash said...

I met Frank Field whilst strolling through Birkenhead market. He's a nice guy, always time to chat, and always plesant and respectful. A genuine guy. He'd make a great Speaker.

Tony said...

It seems to me that using a democratic process to select the Speaker of the House of Commons is hardly the recipe for goodwill and confidence considering what is going on at the moment.

I would rather have someone that is 100% competent, has integrity, impartiality, and honesty, than someone who is popular. We have enough examples currently of those who have proved themsleves untrustworthy thank you. I don't recall under the previous selection process such controversy surrounding the Speaker who was chosen using different critieria and not by voting

Jeremy Sharpe said...

Let's have some Officer class back in the Chair. IDS for Speaker!

Matthew Rudd said...

Denis Skinner would be a giggle...

Tony said...

Not a bad idea in principle Jeremy. Certainly needs someone with some leadership ability

Geraint said...

Frank Field has a reputation for impartiality, integrity,moral authority, incisive intelligence and plain speaking as well as the experience of Parliamentary procedures which makes him ideally suited to be Speaker.
He is, if you like, 'semi-detached from the PLP 'club' and he commands respect in the country as well as amongst opposition MP's.

Anonymous said...

I have never voted Labour in a general election but if Frank Field was my local MP I would definitely give him my support. Over the past 30 years he has demomstrated that he is above party politics; he has shown integrity and is a good listener; he also seems to command respect from all sides of the House and is well regarded by the media - no mean feat.